Cocaine addiction is a severe problem with deadly side effects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cocaine overdose caused 24,538 deaths in 2021.
Cocaine is a very addictive drug categorized as a Schedule II substance, meaning it has a high potential for abuse. Regular cocaine use alters the brain’s neurons, causing the body to crave the substance when not present. This ultimately leads to over-dependence on the drug, paving the way for severe addiction.
The consequences of habitual use can be grave for the user and their loved ones. If a friend or family member is struggling with cocaine addiction, don’t wait. Get help today with Inland Detox in Riverside County, California. We provide several treatment methods to help people struggling with cocaine addiction.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a powerful drug extracted from the coca plant leaves that grow in South America. Although cocaine is mostly snorted in its powdery form, there are other ways to take it. Some methods of using cocaine are more dangerous and can put the user at higher risk of infection or addiction.
Cocaine is a stimulant drug and can cause people to go into drug-induced psychosis when the drug is consumed often. Cocaine abuse can have a negative impact on a person’s physical and mental health. In many cases, people who use cocaine can develop a substance use disorder due to how the drug affects the brain.
Why is Cocaine Addictive?
Cocaine use triggers the release of dopamine which regulates euphoric emotions in the brain. Although a person using cocaine may feel high for a while, they will experience unpleasant reactions such as irritability, anxiety, and confusion once the drugs wear off from the system.
These adverse reactions could lead to regular use to escape the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. This develops tolerance and over-dependence. Tolerance happens when an addicted person needs more cocaine or more frequent use to achieve the same feelings of euphoria.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Use?
Common signs and symptoms of cocaine use include:
- Changes in concentration and focus
- Increase movement or hyperactivity
- Increased agitation
- Involuntary movements such as muscle twitches
How Many People are Affected by Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine is the third most-used illicit drug in the US and the second most-abused drug globally. A recent Cocaine Research Report reveals the following startling statistics about cocaine use in the US:
- The number of people using cocaine: 1.9% or about 5.2 million people aged 12 and older reported having used cocaine in the past 12 months.
- Young students using cocaine: An estimated 0.6% of 10th graders, 0.2% of 8th graders, and 1.2% of 12th graders used cocaine in 2021
- People with cocaine disorder: 0.5% or about 1.3 million people aged 12 and older have an active cocaine dependency
- Cocaine deaths: Approximately 19,447 people died from an overdose involving cocaine in 2020. Another 24,538 cocaine-related deaths were recorded in 2021.
Dangers of Cocaine Addiction
There are several potentially dangerous effects of cocaine addiction. These include:
Heart damage: Cocaine use can result in several cardiovascular issues, such as cardiomyopathy, hypertension, aberrant heart rhythms, and ischemic heart disease. Intravenous cocaine use has been linked to infection and inflammation of the heart valves and the lining of the heart chambers.
Stroke: Cocaine-induced heart failure or damage can raise the risk of strokes or brain damage due to the interruptions in the blood supply available in the brain.
Kidney damage: Cocaine addiction can also cause kidney damage. Prolonged use of the substance inflames vital microstructures within your kidney.
Cognitive issues: Long-term cocaine use is linked with deficits in cognitive attention, performance, and decision-making abilities.
Mental illnesses: Cocaine addiction may lead to several behavioral and personality changes, including depression and irritability. Cocaine worsens mental health conditions such as anxiety, paranoia, mania, and delusional thinking. Users can also risk neurological changes that can affect their lives.
Risks of infections: Cocaine addiction may also expose a person to bloodborne infectious illnesses such as hepatitis C and HIV. These risks are primarily due to the injection of cocaine and the adverse effects of non-sterile needle use.
Risks from polysubstance abuse: Cocaine is considered a “club drug” and is often mixed with other substances such as alcohol, ketamine, ecstasy, meth, or GHB. Using cocaine with these drugs increases feelings of euphoria but results in a heightened risk of dangerous health effects. For example, mixing cocaine with ecstasy can result in heart attacks, strokes, liver damage, and brain injuries.
Social problems: Cocaine use can destroy all kinds of relationships. Apart from prioritizing the drug over people and other manipulative behavior, an addiction often causes aggression and abusive behaviors. Cocaine users may also withdraw from friends and family out of shame, making treatment challenging.
What Treatment Options are Available for Cocaine Addiction?
Seeking treatment for substance addiction is a crucial step on the path to a lasting recovery. There are several treatments for cocaine offered in an inpatient rehabilitation program. The programs are designed to increase a person’s chance of successful recovery.
The following are some of the treatment methods for cocaine:
Medically assisted detox allows a person to eliminate addictive substances in a safe environment. Detox typically doesn’t treat the underlying causes of the addiction. However, it paves the way for other treatment options, such as therapy.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment tool that can help someone overcome cocaine addiction. CBT helps identify unhealthy behavioral patterns and identify the triggers that lead to use and equips one with various coping skills.
Medication Assisted Treatment
Specific medication helps reduce cravings, improve mood and decrease addictive behaviors. Medications can be highly effective when combined with behavioral therapies for substance abuse.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
REBT can help people recognize their negative thoughts and provide tools to combat feelings of self-defeat. The objective of REBT is to help individuals realize they have the power of rational thinking over external stressors.
Addiction Treatment at Inland Detox
Cocaine addiction can damage work, personal relationships, and health. Continued cocaine use can also lead to financial problems, including falling behind on bills and other obligations. If a loved one is struggling with regular cocaine use or polysubstance abuse, the addiction specialists at Inland Detox can help them achieve long-term sobriety.
Inland Detox is Southern California’s pioneer provider of drugs and alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation services. Our goal is to help our clients detox comfortably to ensure they move to the next level of recovery.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.